Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Nine to Five (1980)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Nine to Five (1980) (aka 9 to 5)

In director Colin Higgins' feminist-leaning workplace farcical comedy - so successful that it was the basis for a short-lived ABC-TV sitcom and a 2009 Broadway show of the same name:

  • the catchy Oscar-nominated title song sung and lyrics written by Dolly Parton during the opening title credits montage of hustle-bustle scenes (of getting to work by 9 am) - filmed and located in downtown San Francisco: "Tumble out of bed and stumble to the kitchen Pour myself a cup of ambition And yawn and stretch and try to come to life. Jump in the shower and the blood starts pumpin' Out on the street the traffic starts jumpin' With folks like me on the job from nine to five. Workin' nine to five what a way to make livin' Barely gettin' by, it's all takin' and no givin'. They just use your mind and they never give you credit. It's enough to drive you crazy if you let it..."
Opening Title Credits Montage
  • the main characters: three secretaries who were harrassed by their sexist corporate boss Franklin Hart, Jr. (Dabney Coleman) during their 9 to 5 job at Consolidated Companies, Inc.:
    - Doralee Rhodes (singer/songwriter Dolly Parton in her film debut), the well-endowed secretary of Hart, tired of being sexually-harrassed and hearing rumors about her affair with her boss
    - Judy Bernly (Jane Fonda), a new secretary, mousy, compelled to work after divorce proceedings against her cheating husband Dick (Lawrence Pressman); she was nervous, agitated in the new job by all her duties, and unable to manage the xerox machine
    - Violet Newstead (Lily Tomlin), senior office manager, a long-time worker, and a widow with four children
Judy Bernly
(Jane Fonda)
Violet Newstead
(Lily Tomlin)
Doralee Rhodes
(Dolly Parton)
  • the scene of male-dominated, married personal secretary Doralee Rhodes' threatening tirade to get her gun and fire at lecherous, chauvinistic and harrassing corporate boss Franklin Hart after being ogled one too many times, her compromised reputation and his bragging about their having an affair: ("Well, that explains it. That's why these people treat me like some dime store floozy...They think I'm screwin' the boss...And you just love it, don't ya? It gives you some sort of cheap thrill like knockin' over pencils and pickin' up papers...Get your scummy hands off of me. Look, I've been straight with you from the first day I got here. And I put up with all your pinchin' and starin' and chasin' me around the desk 'cause I need this job, but this is the last straw...Look, I got a gun out there in my purse, and up until now, I've been forgivin' and forgettin' because of the way I was brought up. But I'll tell you one thing: if you ever say another word about me or make another indecent proposal, I'm gonna get that gun of mine and I'm gonna change you from a rooster to a hen with one shot! Don't think I can't do it!") - his one word response after she left his office was "s--t!"
  • the three commiserated at a bar about their jobs and detestable boss (Judy: "We've got to do something. He can’t treat people like that"); Violet pulled out a "gift" from her son - a "marijuana cigarette" and challenged them to smoke it: "Would you two show a little spunk? I mean, what are you, a man or a mouse? I mean, a woman or a "wouse"?"; they decided to retreat to Doralee's house for what Violet termed "an old fashioned ladies' pot party"
  • the sequence of the three elaborate revenge fantasies (while giggling and stoned with very strong "Maui Wowie") of Doralee, Judy and Violet about killing their boss in various ways, while labeling him as "a lying, sexist, egotistical, hypocritical bigot"
    - Judy hunted him down in his office and threatened him with a rifle ("You're foul, Hart - a wart on the nose of humanity, and I'm going to blast it off...Goodbye, boss man. It's quittin' time") - she counted to ten and then began firing as he fled; she pursued him into the women's room where he was hiding in a toilet stall - he became a plaque on the wall
    - Doralee fantasized riding up in a Western scenario ("I think I'd like to ride up one day and give him a taste of his own medicine"); she arrived on a horse (to the tune of the "Lone Ranger" theme song); she pretended that she was his boss and shamed him by objectifying his body and sexually-harrassing him (as he often did to her) ("You're my boy from 9 to 5...You need to be a little more cooperative if you want to keep this job...One little kiss? What's that gonna hurt? Who's gonna know?"); then when he resisted, she roped and hog-tied him and put him on a BBQ spit
    - Violet portrayed Disney's fanciful Snow White ("For me, it would have to be like a fairy tale. You know, something gruesome and horrible and real gory. But kinda cute...) - with plans to poison Hart through his coffee; after he drank the coffee, he admitted that he deserved it, and was ejected from his desk chair out the skyscraper window
Judy - Hunting Him Down With a Rifle in the Office
Doralee - Abusing, Roping and Spit-Roasting Him
Violet - As Snow White, Poisoning Him With Coffee
  • back in reality, Violet wrongly thought she had actually poisoned Hart's coffee with Rid-O-Rat powdered poison rather than sweetener, when he fell from his chair, knocked himself out and was quickly whisked off to the hospital; when Hart recovered and left the hospital without the threesome's knowledge, the threesome was in the middle of endeavoring to cover up Violet's possible crime of murder (and prevent an autopsy) by getting rid of the body; Violet mistakenly stole the corpse of a police witness from the hospital, stashed it in her trunk, and drove off; when they realized their mistake, they had to re-smuggle the body back into the hospital (and avoid a suspicious motorcycle cop who stopped them for a defective tail-light)
  • the sequence of Hart kidnapped and held captive by the trio in a bizarre suspension and chain system in his own bedroom, while the ladies sought evidence to charge him with embezzlement
  • in Hart's absence, improvements in office procedures ("changes that really count") instituted by the ladies led to increased productivity and positive morale, such as job-sharing, a day-care center, a rehabilitation program for recovering alcoholics, and more
  • in the triumphant finale after Hart escaped and was about to send the threesome to jail, the company's impressed, white-haired chairman Russell Tinsworthy (Sterling Hayden) arrived for an unexpected visit to congratulate Hart for all of the improvements - except one ("that equal pay thing, though, that's got to go!"), and promoted him for a transfer to run Consolidated's Brazilian operation for the next two to three years; Hart reacted to the unwanted "chance of a lifetime" transfer: "Brazil, sir?"
  • in the last scene, the champagne drinking trio congratulated each other on getting rid of Hart:
    - Judy: "We did it! We actually pulled it off, and we didn't panic."
    - Doralee: "And Tinsworthy loved what we did."
    - Violet: "Yeah, everything except that part about the money."
    - Judy: "What are we gonna do about that?"
    - Violet: "Hey, we've come this far, haven't we? This is just the beginning."
    - Doralee: (toasting) "And here's to the beginning."
    - Violet: "I'll drink to that."
    - Judy: "The beginning!"
    - Doralee: "Yeah!"
    - "Monsieur Hart. Holy merde!" (the reaction of Hart's deferential and loyal assistant Roz Keith (Elizabeth Wilson), speaking French after returning from a French language seminar)
  • the film's final caption: "Franklin Hart was abducted by a tribe of Amazons in the Brazilian jungle and was never heard from again"

Franklin Hart, Jr.
(Dabney Coleman)

Hart Looking Down Buxom Doralee's Dress

Judy's Problems with the Xerox Machine

Doralee to Hart: "I'm gonna change you from a rooster to a hen with one shot!"

Plans to Seek Revenge: At a Bar and at Doralee's Home While Smoking Pot

Unrealistic Fairy-Tale Dreams

Hart Knocked Out, Not Poisoned!

Violet Stealing the Wrong Corpse From the Hospital

Hart Chained, Detained and Suspended From the Ceiling In His Own Home

Impressed Chairman Russell Tinsworthy - Hart Promoted to Brazil

Triumphant Threesome Drinking Champagne

Roz: "Holy merde!"

Franklin Hart Caption


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